Definition of monosyllable in English:

monosyllable

noun

  • 1A word consisting of only one syllable.

    • ‘Maybe inserting a monosyllable here would have ruined the poetic symmetry of his sentence.’
    • ‘In general, the contrast of monosyllables and polysyllables (suspended in the five-word line eight) creates a strong balance.’
    • ‘She's stopped talking except for monosyllables.’
    • ‘Then suddenly I was reduced to monosyllables and gestures.’
    • ‘Just like my mother can home in on my weak points with GPS accuracy, teenagers can humiliate me with a muttered monosyllable.’
    • ‘As the others have their scenes read out I find myself crossing out whole chunks of dialogue from mine, reducing speeches to monosyllables and nods.’
    • ‘Most sleepwalkers respond to verbal stimuli with only grunts or monosyllables, or make no response at all.’
    • ‘‘No,’ came the monosyllable again and then, as though he felt this needed some reasonable elaboration David added ‘I've been sick.’’
    • ‘Word-final b is rare, occurring mainly in monosyllables (hub, rib, scab), but occasionally in longer words (superb, disturb, cherub) Double B’
    • ‘The play has a distinctively harsh and gritty vocabulary and poetic tone throughout, thriving on rough monosyllables.’
    • ‘In subtler metrical styles, this correlation is relaxed, so that weak monosyllables often appear in strong positions in the meter.’
    • ‘If you have to speak, speak in short, flat monosyllables.’
    • ‘His younger cousin, who has come up with a fine little language of his own consisting entirely of monosyllables, showed the same tendency.’
    • ‘The underdog defends valiantly with monosyllables.’
    • ‘Sadly, he shook his head and replied in a monosyllable: ‘No’.’
    • ‘‘Oh,’ he said, and there was a lot more in the monosyllable than there normally was.’
    • ‘‘Yesss,’ she spoke that monosyllable in English, drawing it out into a hiss.’
    • ‘Their choice of words is correspondingly simple, lacking the tension between polysyllables and monosyllables observed in the stanzas from the poem.’
    • ‘I don't believe everything in life can be settled by a monosyllable - Betty Smith, American author.’
    • ‘Thankfully, though, he does seem to be managing at least to articulate some monosyllables, one of which is ‘sue’.’
    1. 1.1monosyllables Brief words, used when reluctant to engage in conversation.
      ‘if she spoke at all it was in monosyllables’
      • ‘His son recalls, ‘Dad originally thought that his interviews with Mother Teresa had flopped because she only answered in monosyllables.’’
      • ‘Alana didn't seem to have such problems, wandering over every few minutes to Romeo who either ignored her or answered her in monosyllables.’
      • ‘John Wayne, she points out, spoke in monosyllables, often to denounce communication and chatter.’
      • ‘Jeff responds in monosyllables and Travis, my best guy friend, gets incredibly distracted by what is going on in the room around him.’
      • ‘He tried to talk with her, but she simply stared straight ahead and answered him in monosyllables.’
      • ‘When she tried to initiate conversations her friend replied in monosyllables and she soon gave up.’
      • ‘He tried to get me talking again while I waiting for the Captain, but I just couldn't find the heart to do more than answer in monosyllables.’
      • ‘It didn't help that Jeff was so preoccupied that he answered in monosyllables, but Denise didn't think of that.’
      • ‘Maxine was keeping up a cheerful banter all the way to my rooms, but by then I was too tired to reply in more than monosyllables between the yawns.’
      • ‘Ella and Joe do not remark on this departure from his usual laconic monosyllables.’
      • ‘She tries to strike up a conversation with him, and he responds in monosyllables, clearly not wanting to talk.’
      • ‘The son sells watches on the street for a living, speaking only in monosyllables to his customers.’
      • ‘If someone is asking you about yourself, answer in monosyllables.’
      • ‘Again and again, their examiners claimed they were unresponsive, ‘lowering their eyes… staring at the floor, only answering in monosyllables.’’
      • ‘He would sit across from his 14-year-old son, Matt, while they pushed takeaway food around the plate and spoke in monosyllables.’
      • ‘He tried his best to strike up a conversation with her but she was unresponsive and spoke in monosyllables.’
      • ‘Bewildered, the composer answered in monosyllables, until a frustrated Churchill gave up and turned to the guest on his left.’

Pronunciation

monosyllable

/ˈmɒnə(ʊ)sɪləb(ə)l/